Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS) is an attractive immunopotentiator capable of driving humoral immunity in vertebrates, but its cellular and molecular mechanisms still require elucidation. In this study, COS induced the proliferation and differentiation of splenic IgM+ B cells into IgMlo and IgMhi B cell subsets in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). The IgMlo B cells were further identified as short-lived plasmablasts that secreted natural IgM with binding-abilities to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and peptidoglycan (PGN).
Moreover, the mannose receptor (MR) and integrins were discovered and identified as the binding-receptors of COS on IgMlo plasmablasts. The MR synergized with integrins to trigger intracellular signal transduction to boost plasmablast generation and expansion. Notably, IgMlo plasmablasts originally generated in spleen but they migrated into blood to secrete natural IgM, which augmented the serum bactericidal activity. Taken together, this study revealed the cellular and molecular mechanisms of COS-triggered humoral immunity in fish.

WT1 epitope-specific IgG and IgM antibodies for immune-monitoring in patients with advanced sarcoma treated with a WT1 peptide cancer vaccine

The Wilms’ tumor gene WT1 is highly expressed in various malignancies and may be a common target antigen for cancer immunotherapy. In our group, peptide-based cancer vaccines targeting WT1 CTL epitopes were developed as an immunotherapy for these malignancies. In the present study, WT1 epitope-specific immune responses were analyzed in 31 patients with advanced sarcoma with human leukocyte antigen-A*24:02- and WT1-expressing tumors who received the WT1-235 peptide vaccine as monotherapy.
The serum levels of IgG and IgM antibodies against the target epitope WT1-235 and the non-target epitopes WT1-332 and WT1-271 were measured using ELISA. IgM antibodies against WT1-235, WT1-332 and WT1-271 were detected in three (9.6%), four (12.9%) and 20 patients (64.5%), respectively, prior to vaccine administration, indicating immune recognition of the WT1 antigen prior to administering the vaccine. Of 15 patients who had completed the 3-month treatment protocol, WT1-235 IgG was positive in five (33.3%) patients.
An enzyme-linked immunospot assay revealed that WT1-235 epitope-specific IL-10 production/secretion in peripheral blood mononuclear cells declined in the first month of vaccine administration in all three patients with positivity for WT1-235 IgM at the start of the vaccine. Furthermore, positivity for both WT1-235 and WT1-271 IgM antibodies at the start of treatment was associated with unfavorable tumor control at 3 months after vaccine administration. These results suggested that WT1 epitope-specific IgG and IgM antibodies may be utilized as immune-monitoring markers for WT1 peptide cancer vaccine immunotherapy. The trials were entered in the University hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) Clinical Trials Registry.

Novel Neutralizing Epitope of PEDV S1 Protein Identified by IgM Monoclonal Antibody

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) causes devastating enteric disease that inflicts huge economic damage on the swine industry worldwide. A safe and highly effective PEDV vaccine that contains only the virus-neutralizing epitopes (not enhancing epitope), as well as a ready-to-use PEDV neutralizing antibody for the passive immunization of PEDV vulnerable piglets (during the first week of life) are needed, particularly for PEDV-endemic farms. In this study, we generated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to the recombinant S1 domain of PEDV spike (S) protein and tested their PEDV neutralizing activity by CPE-reduction assay.
The mAb secreted by one hybrodoma clone (A3), that also bound to the native S1 counterpart from PEDV-infected cells (tested by combined co-immunoprecipitation and Western blotting), neutralized PEDV infectivity. Epitope of the neutralizing mAb (mAbA3) locates in the S1A subdomain of the spike protein, as identified by phage mimotope search and multiple sequence alignment, and peptide binding-ELISA. The newly identified epitope is shared by PEDV G1 and G2 strains and other alphacoronaviruses. In summary, mAbA3 may be useful as a ready-to-use antibody for passive immunization of PEDV-susceptible piglets, while the novel neutralizing epitope, together with other, previously known protective epitopes, have potential as an immunogenic cocktail for a safe, next-generation PEDV vaccine.

Molecular Mechanisms of Multimeric Assembly of IgM and IgA

As central effectors of the adaptive immune response, immunoglobulins, or antibodies, provide essential protection from pathogens through their ability to recognize foreign antigens, aid in neutralization, and facilitate elimination from the host. Mammalian immunoglobulins can be classified into five isotypes-IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM-each with distinct roles in mediating various aspects of the immune response. Of these isotypes, IgA and IgM are the only ones capable of multimerization, arming them with unique biological functions.
Increased valency of polymeric IgA and IgM provides high avidity for binding low-affinity antigens, and their ability to be transported across the mucosal epithelium into secretions by the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor allows them to play critical roles in mucosal immunity. Here we discuss the molecular assembly, structure, and function of these multimeric antibodies. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Immunology, Volume 40 is April 2022.

An Unexpected Role for Cell Density Rather than IgM in Cell-Surface Display of the Fc Receptor for IgM on Human Lymphocytes

The Fc receptor for IgM, FcMR, is unusual in that it is preferentially expressed by cells of the adaptive immune system. It is, moreover, the only constitutively expressed Fc receptor on human T cells. Efforts to decipher the normal functions of FcMR have been complicated by species-specific expression patterns in lymphocytes from mice (B cells) versus humans (B, NK, and T cells). In human cells, FcMR cell-surface expression has been reported to be low at baseline ex vivo, with one suggested contribution being ligand-induced internalization by serum IgM. Indeed, preincubation overnight in IgM-free culture medium is recommended for studies of FcMR because surface display is increased under these conditions.
We investigated FcMR display on human lymphocytes in PBMCs and found that, surprisingly, cell-surface FcMR was unaffected by IgM abundance and was instead downregulated in high-cell density cultures by a yet undefined mechanism. We further found that ex vivo processing of whole blood decreased surface FcMR, supporting the idea that FcMR expression is likely to be greater on circulating lymphocytes than previously appreciated. Collectively, these findings prompt new predictions of where and when FcMR might be available for functional interactions in vivo.

Development of IgM-ELISA for diagnosis of recent infection of Japanese encephalitis virus in equines

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a re-emerging mosquito borne disease, for which equines are most susceptible amongst all animals. Detection of specific immunoglobulin ‘M’ (IgM) is considered as an ideal way to diagnose recent JE virus infection in equines due to low virus load and short-term viremia. The present study was undertaken to develop a sensitive and specific recombinant NS1 protein based indirect IgM-ELISA and IgM capture (MAC) ELISA to diagnose recent infection of JEV in equines. Indirect IgM ELISA was standardized with relative diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 88.5%, respectively. The validation of indirect IgM-ELISA in different laboratories revealed excellent reproducibility with Cohen’s kappa value ranging between 0.84 and 1.
The standardization of MAC ELISA was attempted using checker board titration method and non-specific binding of polyclonal anti-equine IgM capture antibody with anti-porcine IgG conjugate and with hyperimmune serum raised in swine against the antigen was observed. Hence, the MAC ELISA was standardized with monoclonal capture antibody; however, its diagnostic performance could not meet the satisfactory limit.

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Due to better sensitivity and less turnaround time, indirect IgM-ELISA was employed to screen 821 equine serum samples revealing 33.73% positivity of IgM antibodies against JEV in equine population of India. The high JEV sero-positivity warrants the need for vaccination in Indian equine population along with the demand for research focused towards anti-viral therapy. The indirect IgM-ELISA developed in the present study could be useful to diagnose acute or recent infection of JEV in equines as well as in sero-epidemiological studies.